Exploring the use of 3D scanning to determine whole-body volume while wearing a triathlon wetsuit

Leland Barker, Diego Mendoza, John A. Mercer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Commercial 3 Dimension (3D) scanners are relatively new to anthropometry. The purpose of this study was to explore ability of using a 3D imaging instrument to measure body volume with and without wearing a wetsuit. Three experiments were conducted to achieve this purpose: (1) to determine if the 3D imaging instrument could accurately measure volume of static objects; (2) to determine the resolution of accuracy of measuring volume of static objects; and (3) to compare whole-body volume of wearing a wetsuit using 3D imaging as well as another body volume measure (air displacement technique). Methods: Three experiments were performed: (1) measurement of volume of a mannequin head and a box using a 3D scanner, water displacement (for mannequin head), and dimension measurements (for box) techniques for determining volume, (2) volume measurements of 1, 2, and 3 layers of neoprene to assess the resolution capabilities of the 3D scanner, and (3) body volume with and without wearing a wetsuit using a 3D scanner and BodPod (air displacement instrument). Results: (1) Mannequin head volume using the 3D scanner was 1.46% greater than a water displacement technique; the box volume from scanning was significantly greater than volume calculated by measuring dimensions of a box. (2) The volume of a single layer of neoprene was 25.3% less with scanning than the criterion; the volume of two layers was 27.2% less than the criterion; the volume of three layers was not significantly different from the criterion. (3) Body volume was not influenced by the interaction of wetsuit and device; body volume was on average 5% greater with wetsuit than without regardless of instrument. Conclusions: We demonstrated that body volume as measured by a 3D scanner increased when a wetsuit was worn.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number24
JournalJournal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anatomy
  • Rheumatology
  • Histology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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